Medical students and physicians-in-training embark on a long journey that, although steeped in scientific learning and technical skill building, includes little guidance on the emotional and interpersonal dimensions of becoming a healer. Written for anyone in the health care community who hopes to grow emotionally and cognitively in the way they interact with patients, On Becoming a Healer explains how to foster doctor-patient relationships that are mutually nourishing.
Dr. Saul J. Weiner, a physician-educator, argues that joy in medicine requires more than idealistic aspirationsit demands a capacity to see past the "otherness" that separates the well from the sick, the professional in a white coat from the disheveled patient in a hospital gown. Weiner scrutinizes the medical school indoctrination process and explains how it molds the physician's mindset into that of a task completer rather than a thoughtful professional. Taking a personal approach, Weiner describes his own journey to becoming an internist and pediatrician while offering concrete advice on how to take stock of your current development as a physician, how to openly and fully engage with patients, and how to establish clear boundaries that help defuse emotionally charged situations.
Readers will learn how to counter judgmentalism, how to make medical decisions that take into account the whole patient, and how to incorporate the organizing principle of healing into their practice. Each chapter ends with questions for reflection and discussion to help personalize the lessons for individual learners.